Witcher 3 Review Roundup

Here's what the critics are saying about CD Projekt Red's open-world RPG.

582 Comments

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After years of development and multiple delays, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt it out now across console and PC. So how is the game, originally due in 2014, holding up with critics?

Check out some review scores and editor opinions below. For more on the critical reception for The Witcher 3, check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic's extended coverage.

  • Game: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Developer: CD Projekt Red
  • Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4
  • Release Date: May 19
  • Price: $60

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GameSpot -- 10/10

"Where the Witcher 2 sputtered to a halt, The Witcher 3 is always in a crescendo, crafting battle scenarios that constantly one-up the last, until you reach the explosive finale and recover in the glow of the game's quiet denouement. But while the grand clashes are captivating, it is the moments between conflicts, when you drink with the local clans and bask in a trobairitz's song, that are truly inspiring." - Kevin VanOrd [Full review]

IGN -- 9.3/10

"Though the straightforward and fetch-quest-heavy main story overstays its welcome, the option of joyfully adventuring through a rich, expansive open world was always there for me when I'd start to burn out. Even if the plot isn't terribly interesting, the many characters who play a part in it are, and along with the excellent combat and RPG gameplay, they elevate The Witcher 3 to a plane few other RPGs inhabit." - Vince Ingenito [Full review]

Game Informer -- 9.75/10

"The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt encompasses what I hope is the future of RPGs. It stands out for its wonderful writing, variety of quests and things to do in the world, and how your choices have impact in interesting ways. Usually something is sacrificed when creating a world this ambitious, but everything felt right on cue. I still think about some of my choices and how intriguing they turned out--for better or worse." - Kimberley Wallace [Full review]

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Kotaku -- "Should You Play This Game? Yes"

"Wild Hunt is a grand adventure that feels distinctly of its time. It manages to set new standards for video game technology while accentuating the fleeting nature of technological achievement as an end unto itself. It is a worthy exploration of friendship and family, mixing scenes of great sorrow with scenes of ridiculous lustiness, tempering its melancholy with bright splashes of joy and merry monster guts. Come for the epic showdown between good and evil; stay for the unicorn sex." - Kirk Hamilton [Full review]

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Unfallen_Satan

This roundup feels a little thin, unless there is some copyright issue here. What of Polygon's "8" and Eurogamer's "Essential"?

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berserker66666

@Unfallen_Satan: Polygon's a joke site. They do their reviews based on their bias.

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Unfallen_Satan

@berserker66666: I found the first 2/3 of their review rather helpful. Actually, I found the last 1/3 of their review helpful too, since I care quite a bit how many women are in the game, how sexualized they are, and how much violence is directed against them. I rather enjoy sexualizing women, but I have a big problem with violence against them, both issues are discussed in some detail in the Polygon review.

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battlefront1943

@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: Polygon has become a focused social justice crusade first and an online video game mag second... er... last. Once they started posting articles by known, ardent misandrists ("man haters"), I tuned out.

There is a place for thoughtful discussions on games and society, but Polygon isn't even that... it's just a place to bitch about how terrible women are treated in games and how ashamed players should be for playing them. What's even funnier is that most of their specific points about the treatment or depiction of women in specific games are easily proven incorrect and wrong.

Polygon has become so much of a narrow-minded crusading mag that it's as ridiculous as the National Enquirer... or Fox News. Sad, but true.

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Unfallen_Satan

@battlefront1943@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: There are misandrist articles on Polygon? You must share an article or a name with me. I find it fascinating! I know what you said was articles by misandrists, though if the articles aren't misandrist, I am not that interested.

I see truth in your words regarding social justice "crusade." I have also noticed a marked increase in Polygon opinions and embedded commentaries lamenting the treatment of women in games or in gaming. There seems to be an abundance of strong opinions in general. I confess I have found some it difficult to read, but I use it as practice to listen to disagreeable opinions. I was completely unaware of GamersGate until recently, so I acknowledge if I were personally touched by the confrontation, I might be inclined to adopt a more aggressive stance one way or another.

This last is really a personal interest and takes up time. If you feel like, can you share one point Polygon has made that has been prove to be wrong? A reference to someone else's argument is good enough. I like to read good arguments.

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Thanatos2k

@Unfallen_Satan@battlefront1943@Unfallen_Satan: Just read their pathetic Bayonetta 2 review, and realize that they hate good games.

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Unfallen_Satan

@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan@battlefront1943@Unfallen_Satan: That guy really needs to stop reviewing games with sexualized women in them. He needs to stop playing them; they clearly bother him. It's also Polygon's fault. They shouldn't be asking or letting him review those games.

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Thanatos2k

@Unfallen_Satan@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan@battlefront1943: But they want him to. You assume they did not do it intentionally. They are INTENTIONALLY that bad.

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Unfallen_Satan

@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan: Ironically, our discussion has made me feel we really do need reviews that are based on the mechanics of game making, much like some movie reviews are. We have reviewers with sometimes decades of experience playing and reviewing games, but I don't think I have ever read a piece that focuses on the equivalent of direction and cinematography and adapted gameplay, or other semi-measurable techniques in movie making. I see bits of it--a discussion of control here, a criticism of pacing there--but they somehow all become subsumed by a prevalent notion (maybe it's just me) that these are subjective opinions. If game is to be accepted as art, I think it needs to have certain widely acceptable criteria through which it can be judged.

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ricku1967

@Unfallen_Satan: i have read this discussion (maybe not every single word, but i get the gist) and i had to add something here that has been over looked. yes, in some cases there is violence against women in this game. but what the Polygon reviewer failed to mention in their review is that some of the strongest characters in this series are women. Ciri, Triss, Yennifer, are ALL strong characters and they failed to realize the actual setting of this game, where is suppose to take place and when. this is a brutal world of the Witcher, to men, to women, to children, no one is spared, and its suppose to be this way. They are telling the story of the Witcher, and if you have followed this series, either the games or the books. you would realize what CDPR is trying to accomplish with their game. and to me they pull it off tremendously


But, there is an easy way to fix anything that you might find objective in the game. there is an option to skip the cut scenes, CDPR isnt forcing anyone to watch them. :)

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Unfallen_Satan

@ricku1967: This is off topic. I once watched a video by a female gamers counter arguing how Princess Peach and Princess Zelda are not Damsels in Distress. One argument was that they liked who they are; there's nothing wrong with being girly or feminine. Another point was they were actually strong and capable women whose on-screen distresses were not of their choice and shouldn't take away from the recognition that they are strong and capable. I think some may argue along these lines regarding de-powered or sexualized women in any video games.

These arguments make no sense when discussing the portrayal of women in games. Portrayals must be discussed in context of the portrayals themselves. Whether some characters like to dress sexy or whether they are actually strong as a matter of lore are almost irrelevant. Certainly some established background can mitigate on-screen depiction a bit, but their significance compared to actual depiction, especially if one-dimensional, is negligible.

Sorry. This occurred to me a while ago, and the present discussion reminded me of it.

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Unfallen_Satan

@ricku1967: I think it's good you bring up the strong women here since it hasn't been a part of discussion. Polygon's review does bring up the strength of some of these women, Ciri and the sorceresses, for example. I feel they actually take greater issue with violence toward or sexualization of these women because of their strength. I haven't played the Witcher 3, and I don't know how that comes off. However, as a general rule, I tend to share in the view that it's more offensive to see a strong woman being unable to defend herself against violence or exploitation than a prostitute by trade.

The Polygon review recognizes the Witcher's world is unkind to women, as most if not all comparable societies were. I do not know if games should portray those settings truthfully as a rule. I do not know how such portrayal can be handled with deference to modern sensibilities. I actually like the way The Witcher has objectified some women, but I think that already shows me as too prejudiced to adequately debate whether such portrayal is appropriate.

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Unfallen_Satan

@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan: Does Polygon promote a social agenda through its writing? I think it does. I think the strong opinions of its writers, often dealing with the social narrative in a game, inevitably reveal a prejudice against certain values.

At the same time, exploring this issue has revealed to me, albeit still vaguely, a thin line in meaningful game criticism between what games can achieve and what it should achieve. Do the two societies in KZ: Shadowfall need to be more nuanced to help Geis be more vested in their struggles? Does the sexualization of Bayonetta really harms her characterization in Bayonetta 2? I don't have an easy answer. I do know, however, that I view very differently criticisms of a Michael Bay movie's plot vs its cinematography.

I still think Polygon's reviews are worth reading precisely because I have come to see them as strongly opinionated. These reviews reference many details from the games, and they illuminate these details in ways I may not otherwise see. I may disagree, or ignore those views, or they may even shape my thinking toward a particular social agenda. It is still more helpful than if I just read things I know and agree with.

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Unfallen_Satan

@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan: It's possible, likely even, given other pieces I read on Polygon regarding women in gaming. Whether intentional or not, Polygon shouldn't do it.

I tried to find other reviews by Gies that would might indicate a pattern of using game reviews to promote feminist causes, but I came up short. However, I did find that Polygon's reviews tend to be very personal and focused. I can frequently tell quickly the primary reason the two reviewers I surveyed either like or dislike a game. Discussion of other aspects tend to tie back to that main point or fade into the background. I think this frustrates a lot of people.

It also makes scoring a less sensible choice on Polygon. Philip Kollar scored DA: I significantly better than both TLoU and Geis' score for The Witcher 3. I also read the reviews for KZ: Shadowfall, Watch Dogs, Hitman: Absolution, and Shadowrun Returns. What Gies likes or doesn't like stand out clearly, but I don't think his scores are helpful to players who don't share his views.

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berserker66666

@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: I see. Well, video games and violence has been tiptoeing with consumers and politicians ever since the Doom days. I think at some point video games will need to evolve to more matured themes to portray violence. Not for violence for the sake of violence but if it portrays an underlying tone/message, then it has truly evolved like other mediums like movies and books. Otherwise, video games will be treated as child's play whereas it has the greatest potential to be something revolutionary since it is one of the only form of interactive entertainment.

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Unfallen_Satan

@berserker66666: Please do not think I have a problem with the Witcher's world. I can perfectly accept the way certain other characters treat women in the game; they merely afford me an opportunity to act out my fantasy of protecting women in a physical way. In fact, one particular scenario mentioned by Polygon caught my attention immediately: the one where a woman is being tortured, presumably for information. Whether to go to her rescue immediately or wait it out will likely be a most memorable experience for me.

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berserker66666

@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: Oh no. By all means, it's a noble thing of you. I would probably do the same if I were in your shoes. But it's like there's some so called "Journalists" out there who just takes a minor thing about a feminist issue and bloat it out like they invented fire all over which in turn creates a firestorm.

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Unfallen_Satan

@berserker66666: I don't think the amount of personal venting against portrayal of women was too much in Polygon review. Most of it was still rooted in concrete examples. The reviewer's feelings, though, came off rather strong. Perhaps too strong. I think I can stand it better because I usually filter out other people's feelings unless it has some relevance to the issue at hand. For the Polygon review, I primarily internalized the examples discussed, rather than how the reviewer felt about it. I think only in GS's Kevin's case do I actually factor in his personal feelings because I've read enough of his reviews to conclude if he likes a game, I am likely to like it too.

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Thanatos2k

@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: "personal venting against portrayal of women"

You just said exactly why it shouldn't have been in a professional review. Hence why the review isn't professional, is a joke, and isn't on metacritic.

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Unfallen_Satan

@Thanatos2k@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: I support the stance that reviews are subjective affairs. Unsubstantiated claims deserve criticism, possibly an official complaint, but having a opinion based certain parts of the game is what a review is. Arthur Gies' not liking the portrayal of women in the game, for which he cites ample specifics, is no different than Kevin's liking turn-based tactical combat in isometric RPG.

Now, there is a difference between criticizing something for its content and for its execution. The Polygon criticism of Witcher 3's women seem to focus largely on the portrayal of women, not on whether the portrayal is done well in relation to the rest of the game. The only point that reaches the higher standard seems to be the comments on Ciri who wears revealing cloth whether cold or not.

I do not share the reviewer's belief that in today's society, we should always favor game world's that reflect real sensibilities. If he did not have any other criticisms of the game, I would take issue with at least his score. Seeing how he did, and my own support of subjective reviews, I cannot find any damning faults in his review.

Oh, and though probably not his original intention. He did reveal details I find useful.

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berserker66666

@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: Yup. Kevin's reviews are humble and no nonsense. You should also check out Angry Joe and Giant Bomb. They're also honest to the core reviewers.

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brain-pudding

@berserker66666@Unfallen_Satan: Pardon me for butting in,but I gotta say, I really enjoyed reading your well-worded conversation, and I applaud your respectful manners. I know what you're doing should be common behavior, nothing special. But I try to encourage people to follow your footsteps, given how toxic this place can be. Y'all have a great day :D

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TurianShepard

@Unfallen_Satan@berserker66666: So in games

Killing men = ok

killing women = no no

???

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Unfallen_Satan

@turianshepard@Unfallen_Satan: Yes. I personally do not want to engage with sexualized men in video game, being straight myself, but I have no problem with violence against men. I actually go out of my way not to hurt females of any kind in games.

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TurianShepard

@Unfallen_Satan@turianshepard@Unfallen_Satan: I'll usually just kill whoever in games. I care not for the genitalia they are sporting.

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Unfallen_Satan

@turianshepard@Unfallen_Satan@turianshepard: Some feminists may laud you for your equal treatment of the sexes.

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MJR5304

Loved the 2nd game so this is a definite pick up for me. I will likely pick up on PS4 since its dormant at the moment and despite frame rate issues should out perform my XB1 over all. I wish they would do an update of gameplay after these initial patches though. All these trailers and videos but little facts and comments on the games performance across platforms. I know it's early but hope GS addresses it.

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cboye18

Polygon seem to heavily criticize the game for its view on women and lack of other races. Really now?

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Thanatos2k

@cboye18: And now you know why Polygon is the trashiest of the trash in gaming journalism.

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noirtenshin

@cboye18: unfortunately polygon can't separate the real world and an imaginary world

in games (at least games like the witcher) violence and attitude towards women is there to better describe the (game) world, not the developers thoughts on first-world problems...

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joalopes

@cboye18: Err. What? They do know that the game is based on the books right? With stories about rape, war crimes and all sorts of violence. Other races? All the races that exist on the books are portrayed in the game.
Have they even done some research?

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berserker66666

@cboye18: Poly...who? I thought we were talking about REAL review sites.

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40mdf0

@cboye18: The game does a great job with presenting strong women (that are attractive to boot). Feminists can cry me a river.

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Frozenuxx

@cboye18:

This game has heavy medieval and eastern Europe influences. Like what did they expect? lol. That's like playing a game about an equatorial African empire(i don't know like Kongo) and expecting to see white people there lol. And in medieval times, women were treated like properties. What did they expect them or the author to do, change it so their sensibilities wouldn't be hurt? Those fcking clowns. The Witcher world isn't an healthy place to live in and i don't see why they should sugar coat it.

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Ohaidere

@frozenuxx@cboye18: "The Witcher world isn't a healthy place to live in and I don't see why they should sugar coat it." That pretty much hits the nail on the head as to why SJWs are some of the most intellectually dishonest drones, in addition to the fact that they are in full support of heavy censorship.

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leikeylosh

Game is freakin' amazing! Runs great on PC with great visuals and immersive open world. I'm still getting used to the controls because Geralt runs very fast and you have to actually walk indoors or you end up bouncing all over the place. Also you have to wait half a second for Geralt to stop walking before pressing the action button to mount or pick up items. That's not annoying, though, just a matter of getting the hang of it. The menus are intuitive and easy to browse and the world map is very helpful.

Amazing game, a truly next gen game and an achievement in RPGs and games in general. CDPR must be proud of what they've accomplished!

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Just played an hour on PS4. Got my ass handed to me by some Drowners and I couldn't be happier about it.

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Unfallen_Satan

@Dannystaples14: Question: Is there a GOG backup copy code with the PS4 version?

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cboye18

@Dannystaples14: Do you have problems with framerate?

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@cboye18: I saw a few stutters on the opening cinematics but during combat and while walking around and stuff I've not felt a thing.

Quite a lot of motion blur though. Makes the scenery kind of ugly when moving the camera but it looks and plays amazingly otherwise.

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Kooken58

@Dannystaples14@cboye18: I think that is some sort of bug for all platforms. I had stuttering as well in the opening cinematic and occasionally in the game, and I play on PC. A pre-rendered CGI shouldn't be causing stutters, but it is.

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ricku1967

@Kooken58@Dannystaples14@cboye18: i have been reading about people having this "stuttering" problem all over and im not having it at all...no stuttering in cut scenes, no crashes, nothing. the game is running great for me on my PC

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Frozenuxx

@Dannystaples14@cboye18:

Just turn the motion blur off.

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cboye18

@frozenuxx@Dannystaples14@cboye18: I don't think you can do that on PS4...

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Frozenuxx

@cboye18@frozenuxx@Dannystaples14:

OH SHIIIET!

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Thanatos2k

The Polygon review is so laughably disgraceful metacritic wouldn't even list it.

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nirzor07

@Thanatos2k: What did they say to not get listed on metacritic of all things?

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Ohaidere

@Thanatos2k: HEY I DON'T RECALL THERE BEING A WHOLE LOT OF NON ASIANS IN SHOGUN TOTAL WAR WTF

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Frozenuxx

@Thanatos2k:

"I don't recall a single non-white humanoid anywhere — not in Skellige, Novograd, Oxenfurt or anywhere else"

HAHAHAH the last 7 paragraphs of their reviews were hysterically amusing. Who write this sht? lol

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cboye18

@Thanatos2k: I'd give it an 8/8.5 as well, though.

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Thanatos2k

@cboye18@Thanatos2k: You haven't played it, no one cares about you.

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JDlok

@Thanatos2k: do you like the game?

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sladakrobot

Erm...wasnt this review round up already the last week with exactly the same content?

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Thanatos2k

@sladakrobot: Eddie bumped his own story. It is unchanged. Check the date of the oldest comments.

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cboye18

@sladakrobot: Yeah GS has nothing to do now, so they re-post everything again.